A Nearly Perfect Solution to Discourage Toxic Players

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Hi everyone, Leaf here, Alpha player for nearly 3 years now.

At the current moment and even back then, the problem I feel is the absolute worst for STW, the one that beats all others even above game-breaking bugs and poor image control what with traders and scammers…

Is the community itself. Or to put it into better words

Toxic Players.

The whole central premise of Save the World Fortnite, the thing that Fortnite has preached and practiced from the earliest days of Alpha, was a team-oriented gameplay experience. A cooperative experience that requires any level of sacrifice and unity between the people undergoing the challenges the game offers. So it should be no surprise to anyone when I say that this is the biggest problem when going into STW.

If you've played any number of Public matches, you know full well what and who this problem encompasses.

Leechers, AFKers, Taxi's, Beggers and Traders, Archeolojess, or even simply rudebois. We know them by many names, these infamous few many.

(((((TL:DR Version, the solution: Focus on prevention more than punishment, incentivize players to contribute by pushing them towards that goal of participating in a mission objective. Do away with mission reward tiered chests and use a new calculation system to base mission rewards off of an individual player-contribution system like the Combat, Building, and Utility Badges do collectively through teamwork, but one that calculates SOLELY on contribution towards a mission objective individually, like building walls and traps around the objective or fighting the husks aimed at the objective once the waves of husks start.

That way, if you see anyone with low Combat, Building, and Utility numbers, the other players can be at least satisfied with the fact that those players will be gaining next to nothing's worth of XP and mission rewards. Waste their time, push them to help, and make it so that you actually need decent stats at the PL difficulty of mission you're playing in in order to get the most rewards out of it since a low PL in a High PL mission will get a low score anyway.

Banning players temporarily will only get you so far. What the game needs is preventive, incentive measures. Work off of human-nature, not against it.

The system I've proposed can be a lot more complex, offering to promote team solidarity by making it so that team-gauged badges can still exist, and still offer a boost towards the mission-rewards via multipliers depending on the badge rarity.

The numbers can be easily calculated too, and made to push everyone to contribute to every aspect of a mission and not a singular part of it like combat alone (since some classes like Teddy Outlanders can get huge combat scores). You can offer exponentially diminishing XP per contribution returns when reaching a soft cap like 3,000 combat as an example, or 500 building or so.)))))

And for the love of god, properly tutorialize new players on its systems and help discourage all the nasty, improper and game-ruining aspects of the game like the trading/scamming community or AFKing and the like through in-game PSA's and communication. Fear doesn't last forever, and ignorance ruins your image.

For a more in-depth review of this problem and the solution, read on below.

Now, this problem is so wide-reaching that it's difficult to offer only one universal solution to this. And while the issues have been talked about before in great length on how to fix these, with many of these fixes being more obvious than others, in my many years of playing the game and many other games, I think the saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is the most solid solution towards any one problem.

We cannot expect for these issues to go away overnight, and the game has tried many times in the past to use strong-arm methods to curb these problems from happening again with resounding failure/poor hindsight.

For now though, I will be talking more about Leechers, Afkers, and Unhelpful harvesters, as the other types of Toxic Players are already being addressed to some degree by Epic.

So without stalling further, what are the problems and how do we fix them?

  1. Leechers, Beggers, and Objective-ignoring harvesters.
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Let me ask you before we begin… why do these people do what they do? The answer is very simple, and very short.

Because it's easy.

Funny enough, one of my favorite comedians, Dave Chappelle once said something very eloquent towards something similar to this. It was on the state of Hollywood and all problems facing it between the people in power. He said that a lot of famous actors and people in power were trying to help, and getting accosted because they ad participated in that system at one point or another in their lifetime. He went on to say that this system was so complex, that to even recognize the problem plaguing it and the way to fix it, was to have everyone who participated in it said what they did. That the system that incentivised this was the true culprit, and everyone else was a victim.

So what does that have to do with STW and people like the leechers, beggers, and harvesters? A lot actually. You see, the system that Fortnite Save the World has created over many many years, around 5 or 6 now I think, to me is inherently flawed. The central premise of harvesting, creating and constructing defenses and weapons to use against hordes on a match-by-match basis is inherently flawed, and it incentivizes these people to do what they do.

I love STW and I myself think that conceptually, there can never be another game like Fortnite. It is incredibly unique and fun. But at its core, the gameplay itself is flawed. What do I mean by this?

  • To begin with, let's recognize a few things. Without looking at CtH or any other game mode, we're going to look at Fortnite simply, a mission by mission experience that is the base of what Fortnite is. In Fortnite Save the World, every mission is a brand new defense. While players can build persistent bases and traps via a small part of the game known as Homebase defenses, outside of those the overall Fortnite experience is done by playing through mission by mission base defenses with a few outliers. Also with a constantly resetting environment and world, known as procedurally generated mission mapping.
  • When you first spawn into a game usually a base defense, be that Ride the Lighting, Fight the Storm, Deliver the Bomb, Shelter, etc, you are tasked with creating a base around the objective and optionally trap it. As this demands walls and traps that players must first harvest the surrounding environment for, players are asked to sacrifice their resources for the sake of the experience. Along with basic wood, stone, and steel, sometimes the mission will demand more intrigue things like traps and guns that require specific farming, and usually take away from the main experience of "Defending a fort".

So what's the inherent problem in all this? Well, there are many factors that make other players act out the way they do. For one, this is a cooperative experience and building a fort should be a team effort. The ideal and intended situation is that everyone either builds the walls together or decides to let one person build the way they see fit, and then the other players are meant to help in upgrading walls and building traps to alleviate the constructor's costs.

But that's not what happens, and the toxic players instead do nothing to help the build or to even help with the waves of husks. Why? Because it's easy. It's easy to not contribute. It's easy to sit on your hands and get the same mission rewards as everyone else once the mission completes. It's easy to not give any of your own resources for the cause, so that you can have some for later. It is easy for these people to do what they do.

How do we fix it?

I know what most of you will say immediately. The answer is… report those players. Make it so that they are punished for what they are not doing, as it harms the rest of us. Justifiably so, as this is correct thing to do.

But remember what I said. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". That the system is inherently flawed, and that this system is composed of asking its players to sacrifice resources that they spent time in collecting. Unity is overshadowed by greed, because the alternative is being left with nothing as you give up your own resources, while everyone else is not participating in that goal, so you yourself end up giving more of your resources, resources that you spent hard work and time into obtaining and farming so that you could go and just do the actual game, the process of defending a base.

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The game demands too much of one person, and that's why solo'ing the game isn't simply the option to fall back onto. Prevention is far more important than curing. It keeps us from ever feeling sick to begin with, and the disease can one day fall into obscurity so that hardly anyone has to go through it again.

  • The first solution to all this is simple. A new calculation of contribution and experience gained. A system that incentivizes contribution, by calculating contribution towards the main mission objective solely. Do away with the tiered end-of -the-game mission reward chests and have the game calculate directly a contribution-to-experience system that works off multipliers depending on mission PL difficulty and mission type. It's not hard to do. It's math. Not a new gun or a hoverboard, a simple system that takes away all the rewards from AFKers and Non-contributing Harvesters/Griefers in a way that doesn't punish them, but instead pushes them to play like everyone else.

It doesn't have to be a complex system either. You can make it so that your contribution towards the 3 different badges counts towards that goal, offering exponentially diminishing returns after a certain amount of points (like 3k combat for example), so that it helps or at least incentivize players to make their own walls/upgrade existing ones to help get the most XP and rewards out of the mission rewards.

You can even make it so that the badges can still upgrade to platinum between collective team-work effort, and that too can be a reward multiplier for each individual player depending on the badge rarity, for more team solidarity.

I have many more ways I could expand on this to make this system nearly fool proof, but unless I'm prompted by the actual dev team, I doubt I will continue as of this point, it amounts to nothing more than preaching to the wind.

If you care about this old fool's opinions, here's another system that can theoretically help in reducing unhelpful harvesters and non-building/non-contributing griefers. This system that I've thought up makes it so that you can dismantle and create in-game resources easier so the players who do want to help out, can do so without feeling like they're sacrificing hours of their time by creating multiple traps/guns for any one single defense. Check it out!

Also, I have a lot more intricate ideas on this singular subjective as I have thought a lot about in detail. If you really REALLY care about what I have to say, go ahead and voice that to me and I'll consider it. Otherwise, again, it's probably the equivalent of preaching to the wind by placing it in a public forum like reddit.

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